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Posts tagged ‘elections’

Even if Benjamin Netanyahu is dethroned, the alternative is just as bleak for Palestinians

With just over two months to go before the second Israeli election this year, and with the latest polls predicting prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu will struggle to meet the 61 seats needed to form a governing coalition, former Israeli minister and current Yisrael Beiteinu party chair Avigdor Lieberman has emerged as the kingmaker. Last month the veteran politician expressed his desire for a unity government between Likud and the opposition Blue and White list. Mr Lieberman, whose refusal to form a coalition with Likud triggered the dissolution of the Knesset in May, told Israeli radio: “We will aim for a government with Likud and with [the Blue and White party] and that will be an emergency government, a national liberal government. We will do everything to limit the haredim [ultra-Orthodox] so that they won’t enter government.” Read more

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Israel election: Why Israel desperately needs regime change

Israel’s elections on Tuesday remain too close to call. With Likud and the Blue and White list polling neck and neck, incumbent Benjamin Netanyahu likely has the easiest path to forming a new coalition government – but challenger Benny Gantz could yet emerge as prime minister.

The election has been framed as Netanyahu versus “anyone but Netanyahu”, the radical right versus establishment security figures, or in terms of competing “blocs” in the Knesset, the right and ultra-Orthodox on the one hand, versus centre-right and centre-left parties on the other. Read more

Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East? Netanyahu’s comments have shattered that illusion

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was back in the headlines on Sunday, after declaring on social media that “Israel is not a state of all its citizens”. The Likud leader later doubled down, telling his cabinet that Israel is “the nation state not of all its citizens, but only of the Jewish people”. Read more

Unseating Netanyahu: New faces, same policies on Palestinians

After Avigdor Lieberman’s departure from Israel’s ruling coalition, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defied expectations by keeping his government intact.

The prospect of an immediate vote might have receded, but election speculation is only intensifying, with a maximum of a year left in the government’s term.

A major part of the debate pertains to the Israeli opposition, and in particular, the possibility of Netanyahu finally being replaced as prime minister. Read more

Palestinian vote suspended amid deep divisions

Exactly one month before the long-awaited local elections were set to take place across the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian high court in Ramallah suspended the vote – and it is now unclear whether polling will go ahead at all.

The October 8 vote was meant to elect local councils in more than 400 cities and towns across the occupied Palestinian territories. Thursday’s ruling does not definitively cancel the polls, with the court announcing a further hearing for September 21. Read more

Israeli escalation in Gaza seeks to ‘change equation’ – but at what cost?

Late on Sunday night, the Israeli Air Force launched dozens of airstrikes against targets in the Gaza Strip – as many as 50, according to an official source – after a single rocket had struck Sderot earlier in the day, causing no damage or injuries.

The airstrikes, which primarily struck sites used by Hamas’s al-Qassam Brigades (AQB), constituted, in the words of one analyst, a “deliberate escalation” by Israeli authorities. Read more

Has Hamas Reached A Dead End?

In Gaza, the movement is strapped for cash, as the territory’s residents continue to suffer under Israel’s illegal blockade.

The unemployment rate in the first quarter of 2016 stood at 41.2 percent, while 80 percent of the population depends on humanitarian assistance to meet their basic needs.

The Egyptians, meanwhile, are keeping the Rafah crossing almost entirely shut, and have cracked down on the cross-border tunnels that were a major boost to Gaza’s economy. Read more

Palestine: The Road Ahead

On January 25, 2006, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip cast their votes for a new Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC). Hamas, which had not contested the previous PLC elections a decade earlier, was strongly tipped to do well.

The U.S. had spent $2 million to try and thwart a Hamas victory, a sum dwarfing the campaign coffers of other parties. The money funded “dozens of quick projects…to bolster the governing Fatah faction’s image with voters,” and focused on “constituencies where Hamas was doing well.”

It was money spent in vain. Hamas won 74 of 132 seats in the PLC, while Fatah, the long-dominant faction within the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestinian National Authority (PA), secured just 45. The new parliament was inaugurated on February 18, 2006. Read more

Beyond the ballot box: how Israel’s “Arab voters” are second-class citizens

On Monday, newly re-elected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed regretfor his now notorious remarks on polling day last week, when he warned that Israel’s Palestinian citizens were coming out to vote “in droves.”

Netanyahu did not actually say sorry; he merely noted that what he had said “hurt some Israeli citizens”, and added that he sees himself as the prime minister of “each and every one of you…without differentiating between religions, races and sex.”

In the words of one journalist, Bibi’s comments were “like publishing a one-column-inch apology on the obituary page for deliberately libelling a person on Page 1.” The Joint List also rejected the non-apology, noting the prospect of further “racist and marginalising legislation” in the next Knesset. Read more

10 facts about Israel’s elections and the Palestinian vote

On 17 March, Israelis will go to the polls to elect a new government. Here are 10 facts about the Knesset elections and the Palestinian vote. Read more